Christ Almighty, I hate the Canucks. After the Raycroft shutout, the 8-2 thrashing and TWO goddamn 3rd period comebacks by Vancouver, it’s getting harder and harder to remember that lone win at the beginning of the season. The Canucks go up by four points and have probably secured a division win.
In the first, the Avs broke their trend and scored the first goal, in fact, they scored the first three. The first goal was the result of some excellent passing by the second line. Milan Hejduk got it up to Kyle Cumiskey who found Peter Mueller in front of the net. Muller could not get a shot away so he circled around the back of the net and found Matt Duchene standing strong in front of the net. Duchene put it top shelf for the first goal of the game. Seconds later, Chris Stewart went streaking up the right side, let a bad angle shot go and it squeaked by Roberto Luongo. Then there was a 'fight' between Rick Rypien and Chris Durno. They just kind of wrestled each other to the ice. Not sure about the timing of that one either, Durno. The Canucks looked like they were going to get back into the game but Craig Anderson made a crazy diving save to stop Mason Raymond. Paul Stastny got a breakaway the other way but was stopped by Luongo. The Avs scored the next goal on the power play. Matt Duchene stickhandled into the all four of the Canucks and sent a little saucer to Stastny who was alone in front of the net. It hit a Canuck skate, I think, and slid by both Stastny and Luongo and into the net. By the way, on that goal, Stastny got his 50th assist putting him sixth in the league. That waste of money.
And on to the second. Mikael Samuelsson opened the scoring, putting it into an practically empty net off a big rebound from a Daniel Sedin shot. Seconds later, Mueller was given a gift when Raymond put a pass right on to his stick and he scored an easy one to restore the 3 goal lead. The second line continued its great pressure but couldn't score. And then Samuelsson scored again, backhanding it over Anderson with Cumiskey failing to tie him up. He almost made up for it a short while later, cutting in front of Luongo but he couldn't elevate it and Luongo made his best save of the period. Durno took a stupid penalty but the Avs killed it off easily. And then with a two minutes left, the Avs gave it away in their zone and Samuelsson scored to complete the hat trick (by the way, Henrik Sedin had an assist on each goal) . This goal was a massive fail by our dear duo of Scott Hannan and Kyle Quincey. These guys were looking like a top two pair through the first half the season. Lately though, not so much. Anyway, the Canucks outshoot the Avs 16-9 and outscore them 3-1 in the period.
And to the third. Stastny had a glorious chance early with Luongo giving it away behind the net but the pass to him was kind of crappy and the Canucks' defensemen and Luongo were back in position by the time he got it away. Duchene and Mueller continued to play well and Mueller passed it to Adam Foote as he was alone in front of the net but Luongo made another great save. And then everything went to hell. T.J. Galiardi got called for a trip and the Av's best penalty killer got to watch as Alex Burrows was left alone in front of the net to tip it in for the tie. After that, in classic fashion, the Avs played on their heels. They got one more chance to score with Duchene and Mueller on a 2 on 1. Duchene made a perfect pass and Mueller was alone but Luongo made another fantastic stop (and he looked so iffy early!). Then the Avs started running around in their own zone and Jannik Hansen scored a weird goal where the puck got caught in his arm as he skated through the crease, it fell out and bounced of Anderson's back and into the net. The goal was reviewed but allowed to stand. The Avs pulled Andy but didn't get anything going and Daniel Sedin scored and empty netter.
Anderson wasn't fantastic this game, but really, every goal can be traced to a defensive break down. None of the defense pairs were very good (Cumiskey and Foote were probably best) and the normally defensively responsible group of Stewart, Stastny and Galiardi simply could not contain the Sedin line.
Dustin's Three Stars
Matt Duchene/Peter Mueller - best forwards by far for the Avs tonight.
Sedin Twins - combined for 6 points. I hate them. I hate them so much.
Mikael Samuelsson - 3 goals and a assist. Avs scored 3 in the first, Samuelsson scored 3 in the second.